Not long ago, I went on a girls trip to New York. Since we all live busy lives, we could each only commit to staying for 3 days. This turned out to be plenty yet not enough because I really wanted to see all the top New York City attractions. However, we were able to visit all the best places to see in New York City over this weekend.
But not going to lie, there is just SO MUCH to see here at the Big Apple that it is nearly impossible to see it all (even if we had stayed a bit longer). Thankfully, we made it work and were able to experience the must see things in NYC!
This is truly the city that never sleeps and we’re lucky enough to have gotten the chance to experience this first-hand.
Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own. All images were taken by Cheers to Travel Blog.
Here are the top New York attractions you can visit over a weekend getaway. And don’t worry, this can be done while on a budget with this amazing offer, including visiting some free attractions. You’ll get to see why people come from around the world to experience life in New York City.
All images taken by Cheers to Travel Blog.
Places to See in New York City
Here are some of the most New York City popular attractions I was luckily enough to experience in just the 3 days I was here. Though, this list is not nearly as extensive for all of what New York City has to offer, because the list would be endless!
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Okay, so I know you’ve heard of the famous Times Square in New York City! It’s a giant strip of popular stores and local restaurants along every street. There are tons of flashing lights and giant billboard signs everywhere making this one of the brightest spots in New York City!
And because this is such a popular tourist location, many of your favorite stores and brands have REALLY invested in their store’s appearance! Some even making their store’s into a two-story with unique attraction activities inside that cannot be found anywhere else! I mean, have you EVER seen a M&M store this huge???
Another cool thing about Times Square is all of their live entertainment. From dressed up characters to live music and more, there is ALWAYS something going on for everyone to experience. You cannot leave New York City without walking along the strip at least once.
9/11 Memorial Plaza (Former World Trade Center)
Okay, so we all know what happened in New York City on September 11, 2001. It’s a topic we typically avoid because of its horrible tragedy (I’m getting chills just thinking about it). So instead of giving you a history lesson about this tragic day, take a look at these beautiful memorials at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza that were created to honor the victims lost.
The exact spots of the former twin towers were converted into Memorial Pools, each containing a waterfall. Surrounding the pools, are the engraved names of all the victims we lost on this day. And what makes this site such a beautiful memorial is how every aspect of the architect has a specific purpose and meaning.
Yes, it can get emotional being here (at least for me it was), but it is still worth visiting.
Right next to the Memorial Plaza, is the 9/11 Museum. It provides lots of history and artifacts from this tragic day. It helps serve as a reminder that although it is hard to believe it happened… it happened.
And I must warn you… unless you have an extremely strong heart… YOU WILL CRY. At the Memorial Plaza, I teared up but was able to hold in my tears. But here? Nah, I was bawling (runny nose and everything)! Seeing the building pieces and and listening to recordings from the call center made it so real and hurtful (oh God, I’m tearing up right now).
But the museum doesn’t only have pieces of history from this day. It also has special gifts that were made to honor the victims (like the flag and color mural pictures above). Even elementary school kids created colorful gifts that are displayed inside the museum!
When visiting the museum, you have the option of either doing a self-guided tour or walking with a tour guide. A great option if you are planning on visiting the museum is to get the New York CityPass. It saves you TONS OF MONEY if you’re planning on visiting multiple attractions during your trip. How does saving 44% sound? Pretty awesome right? Visit the full NY CityPass details here.
Okay, enough of those emotional sites. Let’s get back to the happy New York attractions… like the Brooklyn Bridge!! I mean, look at those views!! Isn’t it beautiful??
The bridge not only makes a great picture taking spot but is also a popular bridge for bikers and pedestrians to take a stroll. But be very careful when climbing the bridge for the perfect picture because it actually runs over a working freeway (meaning cars are driving right below)! So if you’re scared of heights (or scared of being over driving cars), DON’T LOOK DOWN!
And speaking of views, this is also a great place to watch the sunset. But get there early because it does tend to get crowded! I mean, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most recognizable symbols and therefore, a must-see attraction for all visitors!
Statue of Liberty
Lastly, how can you go to New York and not at least take a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty? Even if it’s from afar! I mean, our symbol of freedom is here, in this city for all to see and remember.
There are multiple attractions related to the Statue of Liberty. You can either go straight to the statue site which includes visiting the Pedestal and Museum. OR you can do what I did which was take a ferry boat ride to see it’s beauty above water. And again, if you’re doing the CityPass, the ferry boat is included as an option!
So because this is one of the key symbols to the United States, it is one of the most popular attractions you MUST see before heading out of New York City.
New York City Pass
Alright, so you see I keep mentioning the New York City Pass, but what really is it? Well, for starters, it’s a HUGE BONUS SAVINGS TIP for those traveling to NY for a few days.
This is a pre-picked list of the Top New York City paid attractions bundled together at a discount price for you! The savings amount equals more than $100 per person… that’s over 40% in savings simply for buying it in a bundle! And if you’re not traveling alone, these numbers can add up! Let’s say you’re traveling with your family of 4… $100 per person * 4 = $400+ in total savings!! Whoa, that’s a lot of money!
Another cool feature about the CityPass is that you get to pick some of the attractions. Half of them are pre-selected but the other half, YOU get to decide which to visit. Isn’t that awesome??
These are the 6 attractions that are included in your NY CityPass.
- Empire State Building
- American Museum of Natural History
- The Metropolitan Museum of Natural Art
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum
- Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
It’s literally your one stop shop to your vacation to make sure you cover all the best attractions New York has to cover! So what are you waiting for? Click here for more details on the CityPass value offer.
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Delicious Brunch Spots
In case you didn’t know… I am HUGE FOODIE! I LOVE trying new restaurants (especially local ones with unique brunch menu items). And it’s no surprise that New York is filled with tons of these local, delicious restaurants!
Here are two of my favorite ones I ate at while I was there!
Mom’s Kitchen and Bar
Mom’s Kitchen and Bar was the first brunch spot I visited and boy, it did not disappoint! I mean, with a 4.4 Google rating, I knew it had to be good!
And like I mentioned, if there are unique brunch menu items, it’s definitely a plus in my book. And guess what? I’ve never EVER heard of Fruit Pebble Cereal Pancakes before until this day, so of course I had to try them!
Did I finish them? No! Not because they weren’t good (because they were) but because I also ordered a breakfast plate and did not realize just how big the pancakes were going to be! LOL! And I loved how the fruity pebbles gave the pancake a slight crunch to it.
In you’re wanting local and unique brunch spot to check out, this is definitely one of them!
Now THIS was a recommendation from a family member who lives in New York. And let me tell you, I was EXTREMELY HESITANT to check this place out because I HATE PICKLES! (yes, yes, I know… I’m weird. Oh well 🤷🏻♀️ but I just don’t)
But after some convincing and after taking a look at the Jacob’s Pickles menu and seeing that not everything has pickles, I caved in. And I am soooo happy I did!
We went here for brunch (yes, because brunch is my favorite) and though it was packed, we were reassured that it would be worth the wait. And they were right! This is honestly one of the best brunch meals I have ever had and can’t wait to go back. And I’m not alone, just take a look at their 4.6 Google reviews.
And although we went for brunch, they are also opened through dinner (which I’m sure is just as delicious). So don’t be fooled by their name, no not everything has pickles but all their food does have TASTE! 😉
Ready to Visit NY?
Wow! As you see, this city has SO MUCH TO OFFER! It may seem impossible to get a lot done in only three days here, but it can happen! And if you’re lucky enough to stay for longer, then take it in and experience all the other popular attractions! But no matter how long you stay here for, you are pretty much guaranteed to have a great time! I hope you get to visit soon! ♥
Which attraction are you looking forward to the most? Have you visited any of these attractions before? Comment below as I would love to hear from you!
And remember, there is always something to be happy for… Cheers to travel! What are you cheering to today?– Lucy